Saturday, May 25, 2013

There's Always Money in the Banana Stand

For those of you who are in the know, the new season of Arrested Development is coming back tomorrow, after an 8 year haitus on Netflix, and I couldn't be more excited.  The title of this blog is an homage to a famous quote from the show, but it has a double meaning.  Keep reading for more ...

A few weeks back, I mentioned I had purchased a 400,000 card collection.  I have since been able to climb into the black with the collection, and have a whole ton of good stuff left over!  Half the fun is sharing my treasures on this blog, so here it goes.  Oh, and first, a little background. 

The guy who purchased these, got them from a dealer about 11 years ago, who passed away due to cancer.  He had purchased them for $15,000.  No doubt, there were cards he had sold from this lot before I got my paws on them, but still, based upon what all I was able to move in a few weeks, and what I have left ... I must say I'm thrilled. 

What you are looking at is nearly 40 boxes left over of what is mainly good stuff. 

There are some rows of nothing but Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Randy Johnson, Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux, etc. (many of the boxes look like this)

but there are some boxes full of nothing but Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr.  I'm not Andruw Jones hater, but then again, he's no Jeter.  All in all, basically everything you see is filled with stars, rookies, inserts, etc. 

One box is filled with about 600 autographs.  Most of them are from minor league sets, which I'm personally ok with.  I was able to find lots of autographed cards of minor leaguers like Barry Zito, CC Sabathia, Kerry Wood, Eric Gagne, Vernon Wells, Paul Konerko , Todd Helton, Adam Dunn and many other guys.  Very slick stuff!  There were also a good number of retired / hall of famer autographs too. 

Plus, a whole slew of rookies/nice inserts of Pujols, Jeter & Ichiro, & others

Some of the cooler cards I found were autographs of Barry Larkin, Yogi Berra and Bob Feller, as well as a Select gold Jeter. 

There are about 4 huge tubs full of stuff as well that have things like autographs of Alomar, Thomas, Brooks Robinson, a gold card of Nolan Ryan, and other neat things. 

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the containers.  Just for the heck of it, I checked online to see what the containers themselves were going for.  As it turns out, each one goes for about $7 or $8 each, and I have nearly 70 of them!  I have since emptied them of cards and have been selling them separately.  NEVER would I have ever guessed that the containers would be worth so much. 

So yeah - there is always money in the banana stand...or in my case, there is always money in the containers!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

When is a Topps Certified Autograph NOT a Certified Autograph?

Before I get to my story, I'd like to update you all on my 400,000 card collection haul.  I have gone through the majority of it, after hours of hard work (poor me, lol!)  I will be fulfilling an order very soon for someone, and the majority of the collection will be a part of it.  Thank goodness too ... we need the space!  A friend of mine will be loading me up with another 200,000 cards soon to fulfill the upcoming over. 

Working through all this cardboard is time consuming, but sure is fun.  It is nice to be able to sit back and look at all the freebies and such you have after all is said and done.  I'll probably be posting pictures at some point in the next few weeks what was found, so stay tuned!

Ok, so the question in the title:  When is a Topps Certified Autograph NOT a Certified Autograph? 

A few days back, someone texted me and asked if I was interested in a 2012 Bowman Chrome Rookie Autographed Refractor of Yu Darvish.

Ummm ... yes please! 

He said it booked for $350, and would take $200 for it.  I wasn't a buyer at $200, but if he could be talked down, I'd sure be happy to consider it!  I asked where he got it from, and he said he traded a guy for it with his PS3. 

I asked for a picture ... here it is!

Very nice looking card!!!  One thing that was strange though, was that when I was doing my research, I couldn't find a single autographed card that looked like this ... not one!  This is normally a *very* good sign, and heck ... maybe $200 is worth it after all! 

Then I continued on my research.

I found a number of these "Topps Certified Autograph" Darvish cards (that is what it says on the card itself!) without an autograph!  Apparently, a number of these were made as "proofs".  They could be approved by the higher ups at Topps before going into production. 

"So why was this one autographed?" I thought to myself. 

Click on the image, and compare the signature to what else you see online.  See any problems? 

Part of me wanted to go back to the guy and say Yu didn't sign this ... You signed this!

But part of me was worried that maybe he was just an unknowing person in all this, so I didn't quite know what to do. 

And then I remembered his text from him a few days ago. 

"Why would a card say 'Topps Certified Auto' on it and not have an autograph on it?"

There is the smoking gun. 

Look out everyone - you have no idea how many scammers there are out there!  You never can be too careful with autographs!